State may free felons to find Majdi Halabi's body

Sources say state to cut deal pardoning 2 felons to find IDF Druse soldier's body; deal held up by 3rd prisoner seeking money.

Majdi Halabi_370 (photo credit: Courtesy the Halabi family )
Majdi Halabi_370
(photo credit: Courtesy the Halabi family )
A prisoner who is serving a double life sentence for two homicides is claiming to know the burial spot of a missing IDF soldier and has offered to draw a map of the body’s location in exchange for money.
The bizarre episode began several months ago, when the prisoner, Mordechai Moshe, convicted of murdering one man over a financial dispute and a neighbor he suspected of stealing from him, turned to two fellow prisoners at the maximum security Shatta prison near Beit She’an, in the North, with an unusual offer.
Moshe, who is appealing his conviction at the High Court of Justice, told Amos Nahum, convicted of murder, and Elias Dali, convicted of international narcotics smuggling, that he could help set them free by passing them information on the burial spot of the Druse- Israeli soldier Majdi Halabi, who went missing from his town of Daliat al- Carmel in 2005.
According to the agreement between the prisoners, the two prisoners would pass on Moshe’s information to the state and would demand to be pardoned in exchange.
“Moshe realized he could not receive a pardon in exchange for the information because of the severity of his sentence, but he asked the two prisoners for tens of thousands of shekels to hire a private lawyer,” Boaz Kenig, a Tel Aviv-based criminal attorney who is representing all three prisoners, told The Jerusalem Post.
Moshe had been represented by a public defender until then, and could not afford a private attorney.
All three prisoners then met with Kenig and his partner, Shai Shaked, at his Ramat Gan office to draw up the details of the offer to the state.
“One of the prisoners got a special holiday to visit me,” Kenig said, noting the seriousness with which authorities were treating the claim.
State prosecutors agreed to the offer.
Asked if he was convinced Mordechai did indeed know the whereabouts of the soldier’s body, the attorney said it was not his job to know one way or the other, adding that he represented felons as part of his profession. Nevertheless, he added, “my intuition says there is something to this [claim].”
Moshe has not indicated how he came to know the information he claims to possess.
State prosecutors signed a tentative deal with one of the prisoners, Amos Nahum, according to which Nahum and Dali would both be pardoned if credible information was received and the body was found.
“Both of the prisoners [Nahum and Dali] are in the final third of their sentences.
Both are aware of the importance of this, and are very interested in getting hold of the map,” Kenig said.
In addition to his private arrangement with the two fellow prisoners, Moshe is also demanding hundreds of thousands of shekels from the state, a request that is still being negotiated.
Halabi set out from his home in Daliat al-Carmel to an IDF base in Haifa in 2005.
His last known steps are ordinary: He withdrew money at a local ATM and purchased a drink at a kiosk. After that, Halabi disappeared.
Posters offering 10 million dollars in cash rewards are hanging in Daliat al-Carmel pleading for information on the soldier.
Nazmi Halabi, the missing son’s father, told Channel 10 he and his family were undergoing a difficult period, and expressed hope that his son was alive.
“It’s the same story every time,” he said. “These prisoners talk each time, and I don’t believe in them. This has happened before in the past... and it turned out to be untrue.”